ReMix:Final Fantasy V "Harvest Hoedown" 3:42

By Dj Orange

Arranging the music of one song...


Primary Game: Final Fantasy V (Square , 1992, SNES), music by Nobuo Uematsu

Posted 2005-05-15, evaluated by the judges panel

When I think hoedown I think Aaron Copeland, who had unique and arguably unfortunate status as an American composer forced to witness his piece of the same name become more commonly referred to a "the beef song". However, Emerson, Lake, and Palmer did their own very kickin' arrangement of said beef song, for which a more cogent case could be made as potential inspiration for the title of DJ Orange's latest submission from FF5. This mix definitely has some sub-par samples - some of this is intentional, so as to invoke a sound reminiscent of the early prog rock synth bands, but in other cases (drums, for example, which are well sequenced and very visible) a little more fidelity would have helped. The ReMixer writes:

"Some of the arrangement choices may need explaining, because this remix is kind of unorthodox (and cheesy). I've been studying up ELP, Triumvirat, King Crimson, Jeth Tull, and others for the past while and developing a taste for off-the-wall, gelatinous, lo-fi analogue synth that others unfortunately might not share. The bizarreness from 1:12 through 2:15 (a good chunk of this remix) is admittedly derivative of ELP's work, namely Tocatta on Brain Salad Surgery, but it's all of my own creation. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it despite the mediocre samples and stuff. Still waiting for the megasample fairy..."

I hope the megasample fairy does collect a tooth or two and leave some multisamples, but by the same token, pieces of this ReMix sorta rely on sounds being unpolished, as throwbacks to the genre being emulated. The only sidenote to that is that Emerson's infamous towering modular moog is difficult to approximate with samples or virtualization and had a warm, organic character unto itself. However, what Mr. Orange did get down pretty cold was the style of arrangement prevalent amongst the artists he enumerates above. I'd love to hear the real ELP perform this track, because I think it'd be fairly believable that they put it together themselves. Perhaps tellingly, none of the judges had any issues whatsoever with the samples - I think that might be a bit optimistic, but by the same token, it shows that the arrangement was working well enough to keep attention off cosmetics. The source melody is left largely intact, which drew some concern from Larry, but the accompaniment is what's been reenvisioned as a festival of prog rock flavors. Synth solo at 1'53" which intros with some repeated patterns and is chock full' o pitch bends is particularly evocative of the era. I think the whole thing would have been aided greatly by a drum kit that was more stereo, as this one might as well be monophonic for the depth it achieves - the drum programming is elaborate and a kit that extended cymbals in particular to either side of the stereo spectrum would have had more impact and enveloped the piece instead of sitting so tightly inside of it. This is a type of music that demands individual instruments with a good deal of vitality and fidelity to them, because it's asking them to go places less "progressive" music would not, hence the name. While the end result here isn't as sonically polished as our other recent prog-rock submission from Mr. Pacaud and company, it still succeeds at working with a difficult genre and coming up with enjoyable results. It's also different from djo's other ReMixes and shows some excellent variety and a willingness to branch out. Good stuff.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2015-12-06 15:24:23

The drums are cool, but feel a bit separate from the rest of the mix, a bit tacked on. Sample quality also hurts them, especially in the mix where they feel under everything. I agree that the pan flute is static. Organ at 2:32 sounds nice. Things are melodically conservative; some variation would be cool. It's decent and has potential.

on 2009-01-18 23:44:31

I really like the flute here; it just seems so appropriate for some reason. :

I just don't really care how it dips from the upbeat Harvest into something more dire at 1:19.

Still, this is a pretty good mix and worth checking out.

on 2008-05-30 13:15:10

pretty cool stuff, i didnt really dig the drums in the intro, but once it got going it was fun. Pretty true to the source overall. I agree with the "needs moar humanization" posse on the panflute, but the sample is good.

The beat is straightforward as anything straightforward can be, but it works very well. Repetition hurts it slightly, and that intro is just kindof weird,but the good outweighs the bad.

decent; check it out.

Swallowed Shyguy
on 2007-01-18 17:26:27

Being a fan of ELP, this one´s perfect for me! I´ve always considered Final Fantasy soundtracks to be symphonic rock.You translate Uematsu´s melody to progressive style very faithfully. It´s not hard to imagine Keith Emmerson behind the keyboards...

on 2006-03-09 21:08:48

For some reason the only thing I could think of when this song was playing was Harvest Moon.

on 2005-10-04 10:28:37

Different : Yes

Unique : Yep

Noisy : Affirmative

Sad : Nope

Orchestric: I don´t think so

Techno : Mmmyess

Happy : What do YOU think?

Annoying : Much possible

Boring : NOOO!!

Worth a download: You´ll have to decide.

Personally: Oui

on 2005-06-09 18:10:09

Let me tell you now that DJ Orange, while not the most technically minded arranger you'd see here, has a very unique sense of creativity within his own arrangements from picking uncovered source material through to his wide range of styles that make him worthy of his username. This mix is no different; while it didn't catch me on the first few listens it eventually grew and became one of the happiest mixes I'd ever witness in a long while. Kudos to that.

For a fuller emphasis i'd rope in my VGMix review. It was a pleasure going over this one :D

Production techniques

What we have here is a light rock-electronica-anime-score mix that has fitted for a thoughtful and synthy approach to the original. Panning techniques are shown to be wide in terms of texture, and that has been easily showcased further upon the general emphasis behind the space within the instrumentation. It can be said that some of the sounds chosen are a bit MIDI-like in terms of choice, but there's enough thought to overdriven/sustained processing to help erase some of the vulnerabilities behind the chosen sounds; I was hoping for some further attention towards the drum choice though, but outside from there this is still very firmly managed. The sound levels have been given a good amount of attention to sound balance; nothing is out of its place when it comes to the general volume emphasis and the clarity behind the sounds, so we are in for a firm and balanced arrangement when it came to sound emphasis as a whole. So while this setup may feel a bit retro for some people, it has still worked its job in providing a slick performance towards the target audience; interesting stuff.

Compositional structure

The track started off with some interesting fading pad sounds that made it sound more reminiscent for a Metroid remix more than Final Fantasy, but the general concept has worked well in providing a smooth fill towards the general opening. I like the skill as placed upon the programming behind the drum roll near the end of the section; very fluent and climatic to be able to link into the next segment, although it can be said that the general concept of the fill can be seen to be a bit early in its overall status. Outside from there, I feel this area has managed to work its charm just fine.

The melody then came through at 0:43 and it is here that it has managed to stay truthful towards the target material - at least for the first half of which. Much of the expansions upon the original’s progressions are beyond the 1 minute mark, where it seems to face a slightly melancholy progression in terms of notes to help fit the status granted around the mix scope. While I was hoping the lead into this area (0:35-0:43) could have been needing a bit some further attention towards dynamics and texture to match what came through it, this has still worked well in providing a thoughtful link towards the source as a whole.

A lot of original portions are shown from 1:12 onwards, although showing a more blues formation than what has previously managed. Now some people may find some of the chord changes to be a bit random, but there has been enough creative touches to help generate what I feel can be a more frantic set of creative liberties as well as a good amount of arrangement styles to help keep the listener interested as time goes on. While some of the drum fills feel a bit difficult to follow, if not rather progressive for what has been granted, they have still worked well in adding to the twisted creative approach within here.

The Metroid type bass synth came through again at 2:17, before allowing a build from 2:30 that linked the melody straight back into place by 2:36. The lead has worked well to link straight back with the familiarities behind the source, and with the varied amount of variation as applied within the background we are in for a solid link all around when it came to the general concept. While I was hoping the dynamics to be much more dramatically shaped here, I still feel this has managed to work firmly enough.

And the ending sequence from 3:06 relied on some minor progressions as a whole; another big jump, but much of those elements are somehow erased when the pan flute made its way back in. The lead towards the ultimate closing stages have managed to work in providing a firm climax, which has been shown well through the more frantic drums as the seconds count down. While I was kind of hoping that the ending chord wasn't quite that radical a drop in terms of structure, it has still worked its place in providing a sweet provision for its target audience.

In a nutshell I found some of my technical quirks to match those with Pretzel's, interestingly enough. I have had to disagree with some of the judges on pan flute processing as I swear it could have been a bit more humanised to fit the tone it was seeking for, but the thoughts on some of the sudden transitions are roughly the same.

But they haven't stopped a fun piece like this from making it onto OCR. It's definitely weird in its technical sense, but it's still unique, interesting and insanely upbeat enough to fit as a very good FF5 mix for the site.

We need more FF5 in the future. We also need more Orange in the future too. Keep up the good work :D

on 2005-06-05 00:01:58

This song is so infectious. It's a catchy little track, and it grows on me every time I listen to it.

As an added bonus, it also a) immediately puts me in a better mood for a good while, and B) makes me want to go out and kick some farm animal ass. Don't know why this is, but that's a mark of a good song in my book.

on 2005-05-19 15:43:27

I love the arrangement, but the samples can be a little more human, or the reverb could be adjusted to create a bit more realism. Yeah, I need to work on sound choices myself. Other than that, the song has me hooked.


on 2005-05-17 19:38:45

I downloaded this song of vgmix before it was posted here and I wasn't that impressed. I think the FF5 soundtrack is the most overlooked and I've been waiting forever for another remix but this one wasn't really what I was waiting for. But I guess if I didn't know the FF5 soundtrack, I'ld think this song was pretty cool

Stalwart Jester
on 2005-05-17 18:27:30

Loved this thing...I really digged the flute parts. ^_^

on 2005-05-16 16:46:05

great song. the flute is awesome. one of my favorites.

on 2005-05-16 15:17:13

These instruments are very cool indeed. The transition did a nice contrast. Mainly because of the exotic instruments with an accurate melody. So, this creative ReMix deserves a good compliment: SOLID STUFF!

The Orichalcon
on 2005-05-16 01:31:20

I enjoyed the beginning and the ending. The middle part leaves a lot to be desired though, it's very much a filler section with some very strange drum patterns.

on 2005-05-15 21:50:44

Nice. This is hot. Hawt trax.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Final Fantasy V (Square , 1992, SNES)
Music by Nobuo Uematsu

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